They see curry on my plate
And begin their sad monologue
About how Indian I am
Wisecracks about my limited career options
And remarks on my ‘pre-destined married life’
Gaffs at ‘The Great Indian Nod’
Reflecting their inability to distinguish our yes from a no
Throw in a few Bollywood songs
And they are done for the day
Signing off with a Namaste
I don’t say a thing
And sometimes laugh along
Yes, my accent is thick
And my ‘Ts’ sound like machine guns
On a roll
But that’s why it’s called an accent, silly!
I love me some curry with some red chilli
But on other days I’d rather kick back
With some chinese on the go.
No, we don’t dance when we are happy
Nor do we run around trees
When there’s joy, we
Laugh and smile amidst hugs and kisses
We sing, badly, in the shower
And dance when getting rid of pesky roaches
You see, it’s very tough
To explain what it’s like
To be Indian
To be an Indian Woman
To be an Indian Muslim Woman
My experiences are mine
and mine alone
So don’t put me in a box,
along with your expensive pashmina shawls and ivory figurines,
And label me ‘Exotic’.
For I will break free and let you know that
I am you.
Maybe a little browner.